Written by Ashley Treadwell, IBCLC
Running two support groups every week, I get all sorts of questions from moms with concerns about their breastfeeding babies. One of the questions/concerns I hear the most often is this: “My baby is suddenly not feeding for nearly as long as they used to and they aren’t interested in feeding as often. They get fussy easily at the breast and pull off after just a few minutes. I’m concerned that they aren’t getting enough milk from me!” I can almost always predict the age of these babies - somewhere around 12-16 weeks. And here’s why.
Many moms know that babies feed frequently in the early weeks. They expect feedings around the clock that can last quite a while. What many moms don’t realize is that this *can* change dramatically around the 3-4 month mark. Babies who used to feed every 1 to 3 hours, for 30 minutes or more, babies who were always happy to breastfeed when offered - suddenly start refusing the breast at times, and when they do accept, may only feed for a few minutes before pulling off. This can be a frustrating time for moms as they are often concerned that the baby may not be getting enough and are worried about this significant change in baby’s feeding patterns. In this article, we’ll discuss why this happens, how to know if there is reason for concern, as well as how to manage this new behavior.